Indianapolis, IN – Paul George scored a team-high 27 points to go with seven rebounds, as the Indiana Pacers used a big second half to overtake the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-81, on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
David West netted 18 points to go with seven assists and nine rebounds, while George Hill contributed 17 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who snapped a brief two-game slide. Tyler Hansbrough donated seven points off the bench, while his younger brother Ben Hansbrough added six in the victory.
"The second half we really tried to make them do what we wanted them to do. We turned up the pressure a little bit," Hill said.
Coming off a 28-point effort against the Lakers on Tuesday, C.J. Miles scored a game-high 28 for the second straight night, including an impressive 6-of-9 from beyond the arc, while Samardo Samuels gave 10 points for the Cavs, who have dropped six of their last seven.
Trailing, 58-52, The Pacers opened the third stanza with a 9-0 run to grab a 61-58 lead and it remained a one-possession game until the home squad broke away a bit later in the quarter.
A step-back jumper followed by a deep trey from George keyed the Pacers on a 12-4 surge which took them from a 64-63 deficit with seven minutes to play in the frame to a 75-66 lead with 1:18 on the clock.
A pair of free throws by Tyler Zeller cut the deficit to five, but the Pacers held an 80-70 margin going to the fourth quarter.
After holding the Cavs to just 12 points in the third quarter, the Indiana defense did even better in the final period, limiting the visitors to just 11 points as the hosts ran away with the victory.
"We just weren't there," Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott said. "We just caved in."
Cleveland jumped out to a quick 13-8 lead less than five minutes into the game and maintained control throughout the opening quarter.
George dropped in a layup to give Indiana a short-lived 16-15 lead, but Miles buried a deep trey on the next Cavs possession to put the visitors back in front, 18-16, with 4:30 on the opening-session clock.
Cleveland held a 29-25 lead after one quarter, with Miles leading the way, dropping 16 points on 4-of-5 from beyond the arc,
The Cavaliers continued to build their lead in the second frame as an 18- footer by Samuels with 3:39 on the clock put the visitors ahead, 54-38.
Indiana, though, closed the first half on a 14-4 surge to cut the deficit to 58-52 heading into the break.
Indiana has bested Cleveland in nine of the last 10 meetings and the Cavs haven't won in Bankers Life Fieldhouse since Jan. 29, 2010, a streak of five straight setbacks ... Indiana hammered the Cavs in the paint, 40-16 ... The game featured six lead changes and two ties ... Cleveland shot just 33.3 percent from the floor.